LINCOLN RANKED BEST PRESIDENT IN NEW RANKING: BUSH JR. RATED IN BOTTOM 10...... Bright Side: In economic matters he ranked ahead of Hoover.....

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Feb 16, 2009 9:57 PM GMT
    Interesting indeed:

    CNN) -- It's been 145 years since Abraham Lincoln appeared on a ballot, but admiration for the man who saved the union and sparked the end of slavery is as strong as ever, according to a new survey.


    Abraham Lincoln, seen in an 1861 photo, tops the list of former presidents in a new survey of historians.

    Lincoln finished first in a ranking by historians of the 42 former White House occupants. The survey was released over Presidents Day weekend.

    The news wasn't quite as good for the latest addition to the nation's most exclusive fraternity: George W. Bush finished 36th in the survey, narrowly edging out the likes of historical also-rans Millard Fillmore, Warren Harding and Franklin Pierce.

    James Buchanan -- the man who watched helplessly as the nation lurched toward civil war in the 1850s -- finished last.

    "As much as is possible, we created a poll that was non-partisan, judicious and fair-minded," said Rice University professor Douglas Brinkley, who helped organize the survey of 65 historians for cable television network C-SPAN.

    The survey -- which asked participants to rank each president on 10 qualities of leadership ranging from public persuasion and economic management to international relations and moral authority -- was the network's second since 2000. See which presidents ranked highest and lowest ยป

    The hero of Springfield, Illinois, finished first nine years ago as well.

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    "It's fitting that for the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln that he remains at the top of these presidential rankings," Brinkley said.

    "Lincoln continues to rank at the top in all categories because he is perceived to embody the nation's avowed core values: integrity, moderation, persistence in the pursuit of honorable goals, respect for human rights, compassion," Howard University's Edna Medford added.

    Founding father George Washington finished second in the new survey, followed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, and Harry Truman, in that order.

    Bill Clinton registered the greatest gain among recent presidents, jumping from 21st to 15th in the survey. Ronald Reagan edged forward from 11th to 10th overall, while George H.W. Bush moved up from 20th to 18th.

    The prize for the greatest jump in approval from historians over the last nine years, however, went to a president who has often sat near the bottom of such rankings: Ulysses S. Grant. The Civil War general jumped 10 notches, from 33rd to 23rd.

    Grant has traditionally received poor marks for corruption among people in his administration and the failed postwar reconstruction effort he presided over. But the nation's 18th president may be getting a bounce from all of the recent attention focused on Lincoln, Medford said.

    "Grant won the war for Lincoln," she noted during an appearance on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal." A new look at the totality of his career may be improving his presidential stature," she said.

    "Bill Clinton and Ulysses S. Grant aren't often mentioned in the same sentence -- until now," historian Richard Norton Smith said. "Participants in the latest [survey] have boosted each man significantly higher than in the original survey conducted in 2000. All of which goes to show two things: the fluidity with which presidential reputations are judged, and the difficulty of assessing any president who has only just recently left office."

    In his final news conference before stepping down last month, George W. Bush made it clear he wasn't concerned with poor initial judgments of his presidency.


    "There is no such thing as short-term history," Bush said. "I don't think you can possibly get the full breadth of an administration until time has passed."

    The survey's participants ranked Bush 41st on international relations and 40th on economic management -- ahead of only Herbert Hoover.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 16, 2009 10:30 PM GMT
    I adore Abe Lincoln. I long to get to Washington to see his monument.

    I feel Jimmy Carter was the weakest. Let his religion influence his decisions to much.

    Mr Obama, will be remembered for being President, when the shit hit the fan.
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    Feb 16, 2009 10:38 PM GMT
    thats pretty cool. well i could believe it given the sudden attention he's started to get again.
    his is by far my most favorite memorial to visit. it gives me goosebumps every time.
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    Feb 16, 2009 10:49 PM GMT
    Lincoln at #1 makes total sense.

    As the years go by, I think W. will drop even further.

    Although I like Jimmy Carter, I'm surprised he ranked so highly (25th, if memory serves). Not that 25 out of 43 is so great, but I thought he would be lower.

    And LBJ is -- 11? (Basing this on what I heard on NPR today.) What he did for civil rights was tremendous, of course. But I thought the debacle in Vietnam would hurt his ranking a little more.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Feb 16, 2009 11:08 PM GMT
    LittleDudeWithMuscles saidLincoln at #1 makes total sense.

    As the years go by, I think W. will drop even further.

    Although I like Jimmy Carter, I'm surprised he ranked so highly (25th, if memory serves). Not that 25 out of 43 is so great, but I thought he would be lower.
    .



    And I certainly thought (and think) he will end up higher.....
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    Feb 16, 2009 11:28 PM GMT
    Bush's rating will go up in time. As soon as all the Bush haters realize what a great job he did in keeping America safe and fighting terrorists who would be more than happy to cut off the head of anyone on this site or anywhere else for that matter
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 16, 2009 11:38 PM GMT
    When Truman left office he had an appalling approval rating. But he is frequently ranked by historians as one of our finer presidents. But he is an outlier. Exit approval ratings is often directly related to ranking by historians (Lincoln was not plagued by such polls). So while it is not out of the question that Bush's legacy might be different than the reality, it is highly unlikely.
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    Feb 16, 2009 11:51 PM GMT
    PURE REVISIONISM...Lincoln was not a popular president. It is a miracle he was ever elected .He was a borderline nut case...read about his relationship with his dead son, His wife was a crazy for sure. He is responsible for more totally unnecessary American deaths than Bush by a margin.
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    Feb 17, 2009 1:20 AM GMT
    Here is the source of the CNN story. C-SPAN released the ratings.

    http://www.c-span.org/PresidentialSurvey/presidential-leadership-survey.aspx
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Feb 17, 2009 1:22 AM GMT
    Alpha13 saidPURE REVISIONISM...Lincoln was not a popular president. It is a miracle he was ever elected .He was a borderline nut case...read about his relationship with his dead son, His wife was a crazy for sure. He is responsible for more totally unnecessary American deaths than Bush by a margin.



    Lincoln was not popular, but that hardly makes ones "historical rating" very high. I disagree with your "nutcase" description, although Mary certainly had problems, especially after the death of Tad. The idea of comparing Lincoln and Bush is not relevant.
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    Feb 17, 2009 2:07 AM GMT
    I personally still don't understand Reagan's popularity (except for his communication skills). His tax cuts while gutting government programs, his pandering to the moral majority (which the USA is still paying for with the culture wars), his ignoring the threat of AIDS, etc.. But he manages to win kudos for "winning" the cold war, even though the Soviet Union was well on its' way to implosion long before the 1980s. Oh well, he appealed to Americans myth of their country and themselves.

    Lincoln is a good choice for #1, but I personally would put FDR at #2 simply because of all the trials and tribulations he had to endure (the Great Depression, WWII). As for Teddy Roosevelt another mystery to me. I personally think Dwight Eisenhower should rank higher.
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    Feb 17, 2009 2:29 AM GMT
    SurrealLife, I agree with you about FDR.
    FDR was #2 in the 2000 ranking but swapped ranking positions with Washington in 2009.
  • Koaa2

    Posts: 1556

    Feb 20, 2009 8:56 PM GMT
    nycnyc saidBush's rating will go up in time. As soon as all the Bush haters realize what a great job he did in keeping America safe and fighting terrorists who would be more than happy to cut off the head of anyone on this site or anywhere else for that matter


    When people realize that Bush was responsible for 9/11, we had already been attacked by terrorists, and he killed thousands of people, because of the useless invasion of Iraq, his rating will fall further. The revisionists are already at it, trying to rewrite the terrible history of this administration.